Being held at arrow-point and arrested on suspicion of murder -- how Ed Stafford stayed motivated to walk the Amazon

Business Insider spoke with the first man to walk the length of the Amazon river and Discovery channel host, Ed Stafford, about how he stayed motivated during his journey despite numerous setbacks and troubles.

Full transcript below:

Ed Stafford: Originally I think my drive for walking the length of the Amazon was quite egoic actually it was about me it was about beating my chest it was potentially a bit more of a young man’s attitude towards going on an adventure.

I really wanted to show off that I could be tough enough to walk the entire length of the Amazon. Bizarrely though, I’ve stumbled into a career that I don’t think is unhealthy as a result of it. I think to be putting myself constantly in situations where I’m challenged, where I’m humbled, where I have to think outside the box, it keeps me young.

It enables me to keep developing as a person and learning new stuff and meeting new people and going to amazing places. So bizarrely I think my motivation is now completely different because it’s sort of matured with my career but originally it was all just about showing off.

Originally I thought walking the Amazon would take one year, it ended up taking two and a half years. The realisation that it would take so much longer sunk in after a couple of months of walking and I think I’ve always been one of those people who when you commit to doing something, you’ve got to do it you can’t be that flaky person who says they’re going to walk the length of the Amazon and then it gets a bit difficult or it’s taking longer than you thought it was going to take so you come home and people pat you on the back in the pub and say “oh, we don’t think any less of you” when clearly they do.

I think there were so many opportunities to come home. We were held up at arrow-point by indigenous tribes, at gunpoint by drug smugglers. I was even arrested for suspected murder at one point and locked up and held up at gunpoint. All sorts of stuff happened and there would have been every opportunity but I think I just stuck to that.

If you say you’ve got to do it you’ve got to do it.

Produced by Jasper Pickering

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